FHS student uses senior project to give back, honor lost friend 


matthew-shefflieldBrittney Burns – Staff Writer

Seniors at Franklin High School are tasked with completing a senior project before graduation. The projects are centered around subject matter that interests the students and involves research, an oral presentation, a written paper, and producing a product of some sort.

Franklin High School senior Matthew Sheffield knew that he wanted his senior project to double as a community service product, to give back to the county that he grew up in. Combining his love of sports with his desire to help, Sheffield decided to host a golf tournament to raise money for Macon County Sheriff’s Office Shop with a Cop program and to donate the money raised in honor of Hunter Curtis, an FHS graduate who lost his life last year.

“Shop with a Cop is important to me because they help a lot of kids to have a Christmas and I have even previously been a participant in Shop with a Cop,” said Sheffield. “And doing this all in Hunter’s memory is something I wanted to do to do something positive in memory of him and for his family to make a positive impact on something that would be a great memory and benefit in his name.”

According to Sheffield, the hardest part of completing his senior project has been getting sponsorship to keep the cost of the tournament low to ensure begin able to make a larger donation to SWAC.

“The hardest part has been worrying whether or not I would be able to get sponsors or if I would even have people interested in the tournament since there are so many other things that are also worthy causes for people to do or sponsor or donate too,” said Sheffield. I am still working to get sponsors, but I’m so excited that kids are going to be able to have a Christmas and that Hunter’s memory can be associated with it.”

The golf tournament will held at Franklin Golf Course on Oct. 15 beginning at 9 a.m. It is a two player team captains choice format and is limited to 24 teams. It cost $40 per player with $25 of the entry fee going to Shop with a Cop and $15 going to the Franklin Golf Course for hosting the tournament.

Tournament sponsorships can be purchased by the community for $25 with all sponsorship fees going towards Shop with a Cop.

More than just working on a project to help his community, Sheffield said working on his senior project has had a positive impact on him.

“I was ready to drop out of school last year, my junior year, but a few great teachers and friends talked me out of it and I’m glad I stuck with it,” said Sheffield. “And if it wasn’t for my business teachers and classes I would never have known about how to do sponsorship stuff and in keeping track and financing money for doing this. I’ve got Aspergers so things have somewhat been a lot harder on me in trying to do things than what it may have been for other students.”

Sheffield has worked with members of the community to get a matching donation for the tournament. If Sheffield is able to raise $1,000 in sponsorship donations, a private donor will match the $1,000 giving Sheffield $2,000 to donate to Shop with a Cop in Hunter’s memory even before the first golf club swings.

“I appreciate all the support I have gotten so far whether it’s been sponsorships donations of just people helping to advertise and get the word out about it,” said Sheffield. “I want to say that the businesses and community and people have been really great and awesome in rallying around this cause and support this.”

People can sign up for the tournament by contacting Steve Wyatt at Franklin Golf Course. The deadline for sponsorship and/or donations is Oct. 10.